Saving on Fabric Softener

Hey all!  I’m just popping in on this manic Monday (yes it’s 10:12 and so far I’ve made two trips to the diaper sprayer, haven’t eaten breakfast, haven’t brushed my teeth, and am still in my night clothes) with a little tip I stumbled upon months ago involving fabric softener.  Do you use fabric softener?  I do and love it.  My mom used it on our laundry while I grew up and so it’s just become a staple in the laundry room for us.  However, if you’re like me and love the soft, aromatic goodness it breathes into your wardrobe and towels, you might be using more than you need.  I was and here’s how I found out on accident.

One day last spring I was doing laundry and realized I was down to just a couple of loads worth of softener.  I wasn’t about to pick up the twins and go out to grab some so I diluted what I had with water – 1 part water to 1 part softener – and used the same amount for each load as I normally did (the minimum fill line on our washing machine or about 3/4 cap full in case you’re curious).  Guess what?  Our laundry came out smelling just as good and was just as soft had I used the regular, non-diluted potion!  So now whenever I buy fabric softener, I refill an old softener bottle with half the new softener and half water.  So basically I get double the amount of softener. 

A few months after my discovery, I scored some of my favorite softener – Snuggle in the yellow bottle – on clearance at Wal-Mart so I scooped up four bottles.  So technically I got eight bottles considering I dilute them.  How awesome is that?!  I’ve had them for about six months now and am only on the the first half of bottle #2.

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So, if you’re a die-hard fabric softener fan like me, try diluting yours and saving some moolah!  I’ve only tried it with Snuggle so I can’t speak for other brands but if you use something else and try it, let me know how it works!

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P.S.  I might also mention that I’ve also tried vinegar as a fabric softener since I’ve heard lots of “green” talk about how it works but I found it lacking.  You not only lose the good smell but I didn’t think it softened our clothes much at all.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we have hard water but either way, not a fan of vinegar substituting the store-bought stuff.

P.P.S.  Also, we use fabric softener over dryer sheets.  I’ve heard that dryer sheets leave a film on your dryer filter over time, causing a fire hazard, and so you need to clean your filter every so often.  I’m not aware of any bad effects fabric softener has on a washer… 


  1. I'm not an expert on how softener affects washers/dryers, but my mom exclusively used the liquid our entire life and after years and years, it left a blue gunk buildup in the washer that eventually shut it down. It had to be fixed by an appliance pro and he mentioned that you should switch back and forth between liquid and dryer sheets (maybe use one for a year and the other for a year) to avoid buildup in either machine. Despite this advice, I've only been using dryer sheets for the past 4 years, and I'm getting a blue ring around the dryer door =P Probably time to switch to liquid for a while...

    1. Oooo...not good. Well we use fabric softener on all our clothes, sheets, and bath towels but diapers and cleaning/kitchen towels don't get any sort of softener. Hopefully that's enough switching to guard from washer doom!!

  2. I religiously use vinegar on my towels, because it makes them fluffy (although, they don't leave any lovely scent) and it removes any stinky smells. It even removed the years of stench from my husbands beloved college towels, that he wont let me get rid of(?!). But, that's all I use my vinegar for, laundry wise. I'm interested in hearing about this dryer buildup. I have never heard of that. I havent used fabric softener liquid since I've been married. My curiosity has been peaked!

    (Ps. I feel like I have the need to explain myself) I found your blog through Jenn Martin's blog (a college friend). So, I'm definitely a random stalker, but somewhat related. :)

    1. Yay! I love Jenn and it's so cool to "meet" you through her!! We're totally related then! ;)
      That's awesome it makes your towels fluffy! I don't think I ever tried it on towels, only our clothes. I know that it removes smells and the fact that it removed stinky college boy is awesome! We use it every few loads to strip our cloth diapers and it works wonders on those too!!
      To check for the dryer build-up you're supposed to run water through your dryer filter. If there's too much build-up, the water will pool in the filter instead of going straight through the mesh. I forget what you do to clean it but I'm sure google knows. :)

  3. I am coming to you for more home tips like this! I had cut out using softner just to save mula. Dryer sheets aren't cutting it. Can't wait to try!

  4. Fellow fabric softener addict here! Thanks for the tip!